Out of the Suitcase – Puppet Festival

Oct 1 – 4
Island Bay
Daytime shows for families. Evening shows for adult audiences

A gathering of puppeteers from around the country, celebrating a wide variety of puppetry styles and traditions:

  • giant outdoor puppets
  • a whisper box for two
  • classic Indonesian shadow play with gamelan orchestra
  • shadows in a tipi
  • Japanese puppet and mask theatre
  • Karetao performance (Maori puppetry)
  • a screening of NZ puppetry and puppet animation films
  • free puppet carnival
  • free puppet workshop Oct 1 & 2


The puppeteers include Joko Susilo – the Indonesian shadow puppeteer in ‘The Fall of Alengkar’; James Webster in his production of Te Ao – the World; Akiko Miyamoto in The Rats Who Wrestled and other Japanese stories; Norbert Hausberg in Rumplestiltskin; Rose Beauchamp in The Blue Shoe Show; Kerry and Mary McCammon in Migit and the Dragon; and Juliet Neill, John Rew, Anna Bailey, Lucy Mc Cammon, Sam Duckor-Jones to name a few.


We are pleased to announce the 11- strong Gamelan Padhang Moncar supporting Joko Susilo in the Fall of Alengkar as well as the Mystik Krewe of the Unconquered Sun (off-shoot Orchestra of the Spheres) performing at the Puppet Carnival plus Taonga Puoro musician in Te Ao, and other musicians throughout the festival.


Giant puppet and processional puppet making on October 1 and 2, led by Jim Richards and Bridgette Murphy of REACT (Rangiwahia Environmental Arts Centre Trust).


Kids, performers, makers, grandparents, adult afficianadoes, teachers & other puppeteers.  Daytime shows for families. Evening shows adult audiences.


A group of puppeteers including Ray Beals, Rose Beauchamp, Anna Bailey, Leda Farrow, Norbert Hausberg are offering their time and skills into organizing and hosting this festival. The Out of the Suitcase Puppet Festival is indebted to the various people offering their time and expertise to the running of the festival. We are especially grateful to the Island Bay community who are welcoming this festival including the Island Bay Enhancement Trust.


This is a not-for-profit festival with door sales from performances going to the performers, less 10% to Child Poverty Action Group. Creative NZ has funded venue hire, publicity and some travel subsidies for performers. Creative Communities is funding the workshop with REACT. Extra sponsorship is being sought for other aspects.